x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

New date for first of corruption cases

A new date has been set for the first court case linked to an ongoing investigation into corruption in Dubai.

DUBAI // A new date has been set for the first court case linked to an ongoing investigation into corruption in Dubai. A case of bribery and revealing company secrets brought against four former employees of the real estate developer, Sama Dubai, will now be heard on March 15, after the previous court date of March 8 coincided with a public holiday to mark the Prophet's birthday. The most senior former businessman to be referred for trial in the case is AM, 42, the Emirati former chief executive of Sama Dubai's The Lagoons project. He is charged with asking for bribes in the form of properties and cash from Sama Dubai clients that led to the company incurring a loss of Dh137 million (US$37m), prosecution sources confirmed.

Three other sales executives at The Lagoons have also been charged with taking bribes for property transactions. A fifth suspect, who worked for a local property developer, has been charged with accepting a bribe. All five are in custody. The second corruption case referred to court involves the alleged misappropriation of Dh49 million in public funds from the property development company, Mizin.

The hearing date for that case is March 22. Prosecutors have charged SA, the Emirati former chief executive of Mizin, and JH, a Lebanese engineer, with taking possession of public funds, violating a trust and damaging the company's interests, asking for a bribe to do a job or refrain from doing a job, and offering a bribe to a public employee. The third corruption case referred to court involves seven defendants charged with defrauding Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) out of US$501m (Dh1.8bn), including two of the bank's former senior executives. A date is yet to be set for this case.

hbathish@thenational.ae